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Two for Two!

You guys, I am so excited to tell you that I won the Charles McCorkle Hauser Prize for prose from the Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends for the second year in a row! Boy, was I surprised when I got that phone call on Saturday morning.

One of the many amazing views I had while writing at CHQ.

One of the many amazing views I had while writing at CHQ.

The winning story, “At Ease,” was the 26th short story I’d written this year—and I wrote it while I was at Chautauqua. Serendipity? Fate? Either way, I’m super pleased. The story is being submitted to the Chautauqua literary journal, so let’s hope they like it as much as the Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends, and want to publish it.

Here’s what the judge had to say:

“At Ease” is a poignant story about how one day can change so many lives forever. It evokes memories using stunning, vivid details that recognize how something seemingly small looms large in our minds.

The gentleman who called to tell me I’d won said, “You’re on a roll.” Here’s hoping I keep up the momentum!

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Strike One

So, when I went to Chautauqua at the end of June, I was thrilled to be able to hear some very successful people talk about writing. I was even more excited to get to meet some of them and talk to them, however briefly, about my writing. I was able to give two people copies of my book, and a third person, who is the editor of one of the top literary magazines in the country, gave me his email address so I could send him some of my work.

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This weekend, I got a rejection letter from that man, who said that none of the stories I sent him were right for his magazine. You guys, I was so mad when I got that email. Having thick skin is necessary when you’re sharing your art with the world, but sometimes things get under it no matter how thick you’ve managed to grow it.

I should be reporting in on the progress I’ve made on the novel since last week, but the truth is, after that rejection, I struggled mightily with finding the energy to write anything. I did get a few paragraphs written, but nothing I want to share yet.

So, that’s strike one. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with the two people who have copies of my book. If it turns into three-strikes-you’re-out, well… I’ll have to find three new people to talk to about my work, right? Right!

Onward.

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Rochester Reading

Hey, all! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing my first fiction reading in Rochester on November 9th at 7:30 pm at Nox in Village Gate. Check this place out – it’s nerd heaven!

Photo from the Democrat and Chronicle // Matt Wittmeyer

Photo from the Democrat and Chronicle // Matt Wittmeyer

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PY Writes… and Reads!

Head to the Penn Yan Public Library on August 19th for a reading by the authors who took part in our first workshop. Alex and I will also be reading our fiction. Details below. RSVP on the Facebook event page!

PYWR

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